I’ve finally made it to level 60. I never made an introduction thread so this can serve that purpose as well.
I am a software developer by profession. I occasionally draw in my spare time and I like videogames.
I started off buying a yearly subscription since it seemed like I could finish in about two years which would be cheaper than paying for a lifetime subscription. Before the year was up it was looking like I wouldn’t actually hit the 2-year goal and, even if I did, I knew that getting to level 60 isn’t really the end. When the time for renewal came up I bought the annual subscription again with the intention of buying lifetime when it went on sale in December, which I did.
Anyway, I actually did manage to get to level 60 before two years, which is better than I was expecting.
About Learning Japanese
I started learning Japanese around this date two years ago. After a couple of weeks of learning hiragana and katakana I moved straight on to WaniKani. I started learning grammar through Tae Kim’s guide at first and then learned most of the rest through Cure Dolly’s videos.
I don’t study diligently, I just do WaniKani lessons and reviews and then listen to or read Japanese content for the sole purpose of entertainment. I went to some Japanese classes for a while but it mainly was just reinforcing things I had learned on my own. I left since it was pretty expensive and I don’t have as much money as before.
I don’t have any particular purpose for learning Japanese anymore, I’m just doing it for the sake of it at this point. I keep up with Japanese purely out of habit and it’s going well for me.
Once I get the remaining lessons out of the way I’ll probably move one to more careful reading instead of just absorbing content. I’ll make an Anki deck with monolingual cards and put all the words I keep running into in there. So far my passive approach has been great for reinforcing vocabulary I already learned but not very effective at absorbing new vocabulary which is my biggest weakness at the moment.
My several attempts at starting up another SRS previously failed because I just can’t keep up multiple SRS at a time. Now with WaniKani slowing down I’ll be able to do it.
For anybody who’s interested, here are some stats:
Many thanks to @Kumirei and @rfindley (if I’m remembering correctly) for the statistics software used in the screenshots.
I’m not certain what I’ll be reading. I don’t really want to buy books or manga that I’m not sure I’ll be interested in. There’s a youtube channel with some silly animated-comic kind of thing, which I might try to read.
I find this very interesting. A lot of people ask about maintaining their motivation throughout the language-learning journey and the most common answer is: Don’t set “I want to learn Japanese as a goal, but be more specific”. You are the first example I’ve seen of someone who has successfully reached a major milestone without that, which I think is very impressive!
Do you have any insight as to how you do it or is it just so ingrained in the routine (as your response suggests) that you don’t even think about it?
Would recommend Kitsun over Anki, because I can’t stand Anki and Kitsun is really purrty. YMMV.
Your blue bars are pretty much what I aim for. It’s encouraging to see that with the purple bars included, you got done in less than two years, so if a 9-10 pace is not strictly maintained, one can get to the end before the two years are up. Of course, some basic math shows that, but it’s always nice to see a real life example of this.
BIG gratz on the lvl 60 achievement! The way you described your methods of learning Japanese are very similar to mine, specifically your input methods, so I felt the need to post.
This is basically me atm. I absorb any Japanese content I can find (various social media, various random websites, comment sections of various video streaming/sharing websites like youtube, tiktok, twitch, etc) rather than focusing on a specific manga, light novel, book, etc. It’s been working out for me and I’m glad it seems to have been working out for you up to this point as well. Also gets you exposed to the many different ways people write on the internet (which I’m aware may not be grammatically correct at times, we do the same in English). I also get great entertainment and enjoyment just from consuming any kind of Japanese content so this method of input doesn’t bore me. This mindset will probably wear off once I’m more proficient in the language, but it’s been working for me so far.
As you mentioned, the reinforcement is nice, but I also have the same issue with picking up new vocab, since I don’t do any SRS outside of Wanikani. What I’ve been doing is maintaining a simple word document where I add any vocab I encounter in the wild that I feel I would personally use in conversation or that simply strikes me as interesting, regardless if it’s common or not. I don’t SRS them at the moment, I just reference them every now and then. I plan on continuing this until I’m ready to start properly using an SRS tool for vocab. It seems you already have plans to do more SRS in the future based on what you said in your “What’s Next” section, so you can pretty much ignore everything I’ve said here lol.
Anyways, gratz on lvl 60 once again and best of luck with your future studies!
Mainly I’ve been bored and doing WaniKani is a form of entertainment to me. Any time I’m not at work is a time I’m ready to do reviews. Though unlike other forms of entertainment it can be pretty frustrating when I get a lot of reviews wrong.
While I don’t have any particular goal to motivate me, there’s usually something worth reading or watching in Japanese so I guess that’s why I continue.
I might be wrong, but I thought I heard it was a paid service and I didn’t want to spend more money at the moment. I’m sure it’s a service worth looking into, I hear a lot of positive comments about it on these forums.